News / 18.03.2019
SXSW 2019 – Our Top Five
SWSW 2019 was a whirlwind of enlightening talks, networking, tech innovations, and Texas BBQ! While we are still on
Accenture Interactive was showcasing the art of the possible with VR, AR, and AI at SXSW. One demo was the Teslasuit, which is being hailed as the world’s first fully integrated smart clothing apparel with Haptic Feedback, Motion Capture, Climate Control, and Biometric Feedback systems.
Teslasuit aims to make the VR experience deeper and more realistic by allowing the transmission of touch, which Accenture says “increases immersion, stimulates neural activity, fosters muscle memory, thus improving learning”.
Apart from obviously improving VR gaming experiences, the
2. Magic Leap Tabletop Theatre Productions
“The Seven Ages of Man” and “The Grinning Man” where two experiences Magic Leap showcased to demonstrate its intentions to merge with traditional art forms.
Andy Lanning, executive creative producer at Magic Leap, who led both projects sees these experiences as just the very beginning of what Magic Leap is capable of. The goal was to create a sense of performance, and that was definitely achieved.
What’s next? Real-time Tabletop Theater. Imagine a West End production that can be seen in your living room as it takes place on stage, or perhaps theatre-goers donning a headset to fuse the real-life production with virtual elements to heighten their experience.
Whilst we saw re-makes of traditional theatre at SXSW, it’s going to get really exciting when technology can create a brand new form of theatre.
3. Digital Ghost Hunt
Digital Ghost Hunt is a project that seeks to restore coding and digital technology as a tool of the imagination. It’s a ground-breaking fusion of coding education, AR, and live performance.
We spent a lot of time hanging out with the founder, Elliott Hall, at SXSW. We are fans!
Elliott describes the start of the performance in a blog post: “It begins with the most boring coding class in history. Students spend about 15 minutes programming a meaningless square to turn pointlessly blue. After about 10 minutes, just as students are about to lose the will to live, their screens go blank. After a few seconds of nothing, the face of a woman appears on every screen. She looks down the camera and says: “I need your help…The GHOSTS need your help.” Then there is a knock on the classroom window from outside. It’s the woman, and she wants to be let in!”
The most exciting thing about this project is the fact that students have to learn to code their own paranormal devices through a Ghost Hunter apprenticeship – a series of four coding challenges given to them by ‘Professor Bray’. Students have to think like a programmer – learn to read and debug code, think about the steps of an algorithm, and basic logic structures – through coding their ghost detector in MakeCode.
No current program combines coding and drama in this way. It’s a brilliant learning tool.
4. Traverse and Audio AR
Jessica Brillhart and her company Vrai Pictures unveiled Traverse, a spatial audio platform that allows users to map their surroundings with the help of mobile AR technology, and then explore immersive audio experiences. It changes the way we experience audio.
“From Elvis in Memphis” allows users to experience the music of Elvis Presley by walking through a physical space, with Traverse’s app making it spatially sound like they’re in the studio with the King of Rock and Roll himself.
Vrai also debuted a second audio experience called “The Arm of InSight” that has been produced as an audible narration of NASA’s Insight Mars mission.
Traverse replies on Bose’s custom AR platform, so only owners of Bose’s QC35 Headphones II or Frames audio shades can use it.
5. UK Immersive Pitch & Demo
We took part in the UK Immersive Pitch & Demo event where we got to showcase our work on the Three Mobile 5G Mixed Reality Fashion Show with Magic Leap alongside Digital Ghost Hunt (King’s College London), Digital Laocoön (Glasgow School of Art), Space, Place, Sound, And Memory(Edinburgh College of Art), Virtual Avebury (Bournemouth University) and more.
It’s fantastic to have this sort of support from the UK government and be given a platform to showcase the best of British immersive to US and international commissioners, distributors, investors, and other potential collaborators.
Today, the second Immersive Economy in the UK report was published. This report, co-authored by Immerse UK and Digital Catapult, details the growth of the sector, its drivers and barriers, scale, nature, and economic value.
The immersive and engaging nature of virtual reality has been used to help tackle the impact of climate change and motivate and inspire us to solve the climate crisis. Filmmakers and advocacy groups have turned to the medium as a tool for building empathy and driving action.
Many traditional horror tropes rely on a fear of the supernatural: ghosts, zombies, demons – things you wouldn’t be able to experience in real-life. Virtual Reality gives us the ability to put someone in the middle of these scenarios and raise the scare-factor to a whole new level.
Sir Martyn Lewis and I met back in April to discuss the impact of technology on humanity at The Club at The Ivy in London. It was a well-received debate, so we reconvened to tackle a new subject last month.
To date, extended reality (XR)—an umbrella term encompassing augmented, virtual, and mixed reality technologies—has largely been viewed by Adland as a purely creative outlet. Now, due to performance, brands are increasingly turning to immersive mediums, such as virtual and augmented reality, to engage with audiences.
Thanks to the Oculus Quest, high quality, affordable experiences are now far more accessible to the everyday enthusiast and VR newbies alike.
There is much excitement surrounding the field of brain-computer interfaces (BCI).
Modern dating is a far cry from the courtship our grandparents experienced. In the past, people met their partners at work, on a night out, or at church. Then came the internet and cellular technology —suddenly, distance was not an issue, and the phrase “plenty of fish” has never rung truer.
Technology has sprinted ahead at an unprecedented rate over the past few years, but the viewing of sports events has largely been left behind. While there have been some developments—such as adding commentary, informational graphics, different camera angles, and slow-motion replays—change has been slow and incremental.